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Acumen Overview

Burlingame, CA
201 to 500 employees
Company - Private
Federal Agencies
$10 to $25 million (USD) per year
Acumen, LLC was established by scholars from Stanford University in to improve the information provided to policymakers who design and revise welfare, health, education, labor, and business programs at the national, state, and local levels. In conjunction with its affiliated ... Read more

Mission: Our mission is to improve the information available to policy makers who design health, welfare, education, and labor programs at all levels of government.
We are an organization that attracts, develops, excites and retains exceptional people.

Acumen – Why Work For Us?

undefinedAcumen, LLC was established by scholars from Stanford University in 1996. In conjunction with its affiliated nonprofit firm, the SPHERE Institute, Acumen offers practitioners a powerful policy analysis capability, providing specific, impartial advice and context for policy debates.

We are committed to the improvement of public policy through information management, and we have worked with several agencies to develop resources to build their internal databases and self-evaluation capacity. To supplement internal sources of information, our team has created and utilized all forms of administrative and survey data to produce outcomes relevant for both service providers and funding organizations.

Our team of professionals includes economists, analysts, and programmers who are skilled in the use of large-scale administrative data sources to formulate concrete solutions to complicated problems. By basing our research and forecasts on sound empirical foundations, we provide our public and private sector clients a data-driven view of their business.

Acumen members have experience conveying information and research findings to broad audiences of policymakers, program operators, and other stakeholders. With these interrelated goals and expertise, Acumen, LLC serves the interests of the public, government, business and the research community.

Policy Areas

Acumen’s research focuses on the areas of health, labor and social policy. In particular, Acumen has developed an expertise in topics such as: comparative effectiveness research, value-based purchasing, drug safety, drug pricing, expenditure forecasting, and outcomes measurement for various health, welfare, education and labor programs.


Acumen provides consulting and research services to national, state, and local governments, as well as to non-profits. We cater primarily to federal agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to improve the information available to policy makers who design health, welfare, education, and labor programs at all levels of government.We are an organization that attracts, develops, excites and retains exceptional people.

undefinedBenefits at Acumen

Healthcare/Disability/Life Benefits
Acumen’s cafeteria plan enables employees to select the medical, dental and vision plans that best suits their needs. Employees are able to utilize Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA). We also provide supplemental accident insurance, and short- and long-term disability coverage. Other programs available to Acumen employees include the Employee Assistance Program and group term life insurance.

401k Retirement Plans
Acumen offers both a traditional 401k and a Roth 401k plan for employees. After one year of service, the company automatically contributes 5% of an employee’s salary to the traditional 401k, regardless of whether that employee make contributions.

Paid Time Off/Sick Leave
Staff members accrue personal time off for vacation, personal business, and short-term illness. Accrual rates are based on years of service, beginning with three weeks per year, increasing to a maximum of five weeks per year.

Designated Holidays & Personal Floating Holidays
Acumen offers ten paid holidays per year, which are New Year's Day, Presidents' Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and two "floating" holidays.

Other benefits:
Subsidized child care;
Subsidized fitness club access;
Commuter Checks.

Project Leaders

Acumen’s project leaders are representative of our firm’s distinct technical skills and are responsible for overseeing the completion of project objectives. Our project leaders are dedicated in providing high quality products, working against time and resource constraints. Listed below are Acumen’s senior project leaders, their title, and their e-mail address.

Thomas MaCurdy, Ph.D.Managing Member /
Senior Research Associate
Jay Bhattacharya, Ph.D.Senior Research Associate

Acumen Reviews

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Thomas MaCurdy
53 Ratings
  • Helpful (4)

    "Good for new grads, interesting work, management is hit or miss, experiences vary greatly"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Data and Policy Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Former Employee - Data and Policy Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Acumen full-time (More than 5 years)


    - Employees are intelligent and friendly.
    - There are a wide variety of contracts to work on, many of which are interesting, rewarding, and have real impact on health policy.
    - Acumen has more access and expertise with public health data than other health research contractors.
    - When properly recognized by management, good work is rewarded with higher pay and accelerated advancement.
    - Hours are flexible (although often still long) and work environment is very casual.
    - The CEO is incredibly smart and has ambitious visions for the company. He is a workaholic who is absurdly committed to the company.


    - A lot of teams suffer from poor management. Often managers are chosen based on how long they have been at the company or their project knowledge rather than their ability or desire to support the people reporting to them.
    - A lot of teams are over-worked. Depending on what projects you work on, you may have periodic crunch times where you have to work 80+ hour weeks.
    - Good work is often rewarded with more work and responsibilities than is desired until the employee eventually burns out.
    - The CEO can be very difficult to work with. He is very aggressive, demanding, and has trouble communicating his ideas to others. You need thick skin, patience, and good communication skills to be able to work with him.

    Advice to Management

    - Spend significant time and effort evaluating management team by team. Identify team dynamics that are unhealthy or unsustainable and set in place long term plans to address those issues.

See All 100 Reviews

Acumen Photos

Acumen photo of: Enjoying the first of the California office's summer barbecues with delicious food, games,and ice cream!
Acumen photo of: Halloween fun at the CA office! 🎃
Acumen photo of: Our CA office is standing out more these days with the new addition of our logo on the building!
Acumen photo of: Acumen's D.C. employees having a great time at the summer picnic!
Acumen photo of: All smiles at the summer picnic in D.C.!
Acumen photo of: Summer interns and their managers enjoyed a fun evening of bowling.
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Acumen Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview




  1. Helpful (1)  

    Data and Policy Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview


    I applied online. I interviewed at Acumen.


    They sent me a data exercise. After I submitted, they invited me a phone interview to talk about this exercise. Why do you choose this model? How do you think about this data? How to clean data?

    Then, I got the onsite interview. After a simple probability test, I interviewed with 4 people. They mainly asked questions about projects I did.

    Interview Questions

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Acumen Awards & Accolades

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